Australian Capital Territory to Legalize Marriage Equality This Year


Katy GallagherThe Australian Capital Territory, essentially Australia's equivalent to Washington DC, is set to legalize same-sex marriage by the end of the year, becoming the first territory in the country to do so. The Guardian reports that ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher (pictured right) expects the marriage equality bill to pass and to be replicated across the country in the near future.

The legislation is set to be an early test for the prime minister elect, Tony Abbott (pictured below), who has consistently opposed same-sex marriage but has held out the prospect of a vote on the issue at some time in the future.

Gallagher told Guardian Australia that she didn't expect the Coalition to intervene to prevent gay marriage in the ACT.

"We've been pretty clear on this issue for some time now and there's overwhelming community support for this," she said.

Tony-Abbott"Any intervention won't be easy and we certainly don't want to be the first test of the new Senate. I think opposition to this has softened within politics in acknowledgment of the fact that the community has shifted its view in favor." […]

A repeal of ACT marriage equality would have to pass both houses of the federal parliament, presenting a potentially tricky challenge for the Abbott government.

Gallagher said that she expected the ACT's stance on marriage equality to be replicated across Australia.

"I can see Tasmania is making a good effort in this area but we will be the first," she said. "I would expect that something will be put to the federal parliament in this term. The Labor party has led this debate nationally and I expect more and more people to support it. We have waited long enough for this."

Meanwhile, opposition forces have mobilized. Yesterday, the Australian Christian Lobby pressured the federal Labor party not to introduce any bills related to same-sex marriage.

"Any analysis of [the] election must take into account that this issue was front and centre of Labor's campaign but failed to attract votes amongst the broader Australian community," said Lyle Shelton, managing director of the ACL.

Tony Abbott, who defeated pro-equality Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in this month's elections, has brushed aside gay marriage as the "fashion of the moment."


  1. Tristram says

    Unlike in the us, gay marriage wasn’t used as a central issue to the election. The main issue was political in fighting and instability within the incumbent party – which, under Kevin rudd saved us from the GFC ! if Abbott tries to block this, not even god will save him.

  2. Bob says

    Australia will never get gay marriage. They just voted in a right wing religious fundamentalist as Prime Minister. So much for Australia being open-minded. It’s a backward. place. The LGBT community in Australia has been totally ineffective as a political force.

  3. Tristram says

    I believe that the gay community in Australia doesn’t have the same enemies that America’s gay community does since we don’t have a strong religious right wing. Even tony Abbott had to curb a lot of his views to get into power. Also, the man in that party people actually want for prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull opening supports gay marriage.

    I believe if the religious right does try to exert power there will be a call to arms, and those who haven’t had to fight will.

  4. Bob says


    Australia’s GLBT community has been complacent and disorganized in the face of homophobic elements in both the Labor and Liberal parties. And, yes, Australia does have a Religious Right.

  5. jamal49 says

    Regardless, christians once again will rear their vile, bigoted heads and inject their sleazy, filthy religion into a secular matter and impede civil equality. I am at that point of thought that the only good christian is a dead christian.

  6. rob says

    No bigot should ever be permitted to hold any government office, or position of power or influence. Tony Abbott needs to be removed from office immediately BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

  7. RonCharles says

    For now, this is the way to go in Australia, build a state by state foundation for gay marriage. After all, the United States started with just Massachusetts.

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